Multi-layer light trapping structures for enhanced solar collection

Alsaigh, Rakan E. and Bauer, Ralf and Lavery, Martin P. J. (2020) Multi-layer light trapping structures for enhanced solar collection. Optics Express, 28 (21). pp. 31714-31728. ISSN 1094-4087 (

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Light trapping is a commonly used technique for enhancing the efficiency of solar collection in many photovoltaic (PV) devices. In this paper, we present the design of multi-layer light trapping structures that can potentially be retrofitted, or directly integrated, onto crystalline or amorphous silicon solar panels for enhanced optical collection at normal and extreme angle of incidence. This approach can improve the daily optical collection performance of solar panel with and without internally integrated light trapping structure by up to 7.18% and 159.93%, respectively. These improvements predict an enhancement beyond many research level and commercially deployed light trapping technologies. We further enhance this performance by combining our multi-layer optics with high refractive index materials to achieve a daily optical collection of up to 32.20% beyond leading light trapping structures. Our additive light trapping designs could enable the upgradeability of older PV technologies and can be tailored to optimally operate at unique angular ranges for building exteriors or over a wide range of incidence angle for applications such as unmanned aerial vehicles.